Today, President of the Parliament of Estonia the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas held a video conference with Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden the Riksdag Andreas Norlén. They spoke about the development of friendly bilateral parliamentary and regional relations, and the COVID-19 situation.
“Estonia and Sweden have historically strong bonds,” Ratas told his Swedish colleague. “Our bilateral cooperation has strong traditions and our economies are tightly interconnected.”
Ratas emphasised that Sweden had shown great support to Estonia, and Estonians knew from history how much the Swedes had helped them. “The Estonian community in Sweden is strong and very active also today,” Ratas said. He pointed out that he had relatives living in Sweden, and that such direct contacts between people make the relations between two countries even closer. He added that many Swedes were connected with Estonia, very many of them with West Estonia and the islands.
During the video call, Ratas highlighted the cooperation between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States (NB8), which had become active and natural. “I hope that the tradition of the Speakers of Nordic and Baltic countries to discuss and coordinate views, and to organise joint visits will continue,” Ratas said.
Ratas gave his Swedish colleague an overview of the work of the Riigikogu during the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlined the current situation in Estonia regarding the pandemic. Ratas said that the last year had been very difficult for the whole world due to COVID-19. He expressed hope that vaccinations would help change the circumstances and the situation would stabilise, and soon people would be able to meet again in person.
The Speaker of the Riksdag congratulated Jüri Ratas on being elected the President of the Riigikogu, and invited him to visit Sweden in autumn together with his Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues to celebrate the 30th anniversary of restoration of the independence of the Baltic States. The Swedish Speaker also invited Ratas to a bilateral meeting. Besides that, he gave an overview of the activities of his country during the COVID pandemic, and said that he was currently working from home to avoid contacts.
Photos (Erik Peinar, Chancellery of the Riigikogu)
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